Phrase turns out to be true

Published 10:29 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“You pay for your raising.” I’ve heard this phrase my entire life, usually uttered by one of my parents when they were frustrated. Such times usually involved something I was doing they didn’t like and a wish that one day my child would do something similar to me.

Fast forward 30-plus years. My mother was at my house this weekend as I tried to get 14-month old Sutton ready to leave. Sutton doesn’t like to get dressed and if you can convince her she must wear clothes, then she is very picky about what type of clothes she wears.

“She won’t wear long sleeves or anything fitted like pajama pants,” I tell my mother as I wrestle the shirt over Sutton’s head. “And she hates socks. And shoes. And hats. And hair bows. And, well, anything more than running around the house naked.”

Just as I said this, Sutton managed to take off her shirt. Then, she managed to pull her shoes off and go running down the hall so that I had to chase her in order to get her dressed.

“You were just like that,” my mother said. “You hated anything with a collar and would pitch a fit if your socks had ‘bumps.’ I spent half your childhood convincing you your socks were OK.”

I guess this is what’s known as paying for your raising and while it’s OK to be clothing-optional in the summer, it’s getting serious now the weather is cooler.

“Well, she’s going to have to get over it,” I told my mother. “I can let the hair bows slide, but shirts aren’t optional and she’s got to wear socks and shoes in the winter.”

“We’ll see,” mother said with a smile.

From all accounts, I was an active and high-maintenance child so I guess it’s only fair that Sutton is the same way. It’s not that she’s bad-natured, she just likes things her own way, something her mother has been accused of several times, too.

But we need to reach some sort of compromise here. It’s soon going to be too cold to walk around half-dressed and it’s too easy to step on something and cut yourself if you don’t wear shoes.

And, as I also learned from my mother, sometimes I get to play the “I’m the mother” card and add to it the “Because I said so,” statement.

I tried both those things Saturday and in the end, Sutton did wear clothes and shoes to the store. We left the socks at home, but I considered those a small loss in light of a big victory. 

I won’t give this battle up, of course, but I don’t expect things to get easier. If it’s true you pay for your raising, I think we’ve got a couple of rough years ahead of us.